Zest 4 Leisure have always offered a popular range of timber garden furniture and this week at GLEE, the garden industry's leading trade show, David Coton had the opportunity to review their new products for 2018.
Autumn gardening is unfortunately about saying farewell to the warm summer days and Nathan James Dodd has a few suggestions on how best to prepare for winter.
Activity in the autumn garden doesn't cease, in fact, it's a busy time – collecting and gathering up the fruits of summer, repairing, tidying and generally getting ready for the colder, less kind, months ahead.
The clearest indication that the seasons are changing is when the lush green leaves start to turn yellow and brown before falling to the floor. To collect them from paths is important as any rain will turn leaves into a potentially dangerous skiddy surface.
You might find a pair of leaf grabbers useful, but don't burn the leaves you collect, store them in black plastic bags with a few holes poked through. They will break down (it might be useful to shred the thicker leaves such as chestnut and sycamore to quicken the process) but the result will be superb potting or seed compost. If you can't wait, leaf mould that hasn't been left for as long can be used as a soil conditioner.
At the end of Summer, there's plenty of material that needs to be composted, plants that have had their day in the sun and cuttings from hedges after their autumn trim. You needn't spend time testing your DIY skills, attempting to construct your own composter with a saw and nails. Sturdy, ready built timber compost bins and more modest versions are available at very affordable prices.
Before the leaves start falling it's best to cover your garden pond, any dropping to the bottom will pollute the pond with noxious gases when they rot. Netting of various gauges can be bought off the roll or in set sizes and if laid properly can be almost invisible. You will also be thwarting any herons who are on the lookout for lunch. See our guide to Pond Netting.
Making sure your pond is clear of excessive silt, sludge and rotting vegetation, why not consider a multi-purpose wet and dry garden vacuum. It has a 35-litre reservoir with an easy self-emptying action, and will deal efficiently with garden leaves as well as pond debris.
The colder weather and any early frost can reek havoc if you have plants outside that aren't fully hardy, so use fleece to protect them. Very lightweight yet strong, fleece is easy to cut and will also provide a barrier against birds, insects and wind damage. To protect greenhouse plants and keep heating costs to a minimum use bubble wrap on the inside of greenhouse glazing for insulation.
Covering expensive garden furniture and equipment is also important. You really don't want to be met with chairs and tables covered in grime next spring, so use waterproof covers that are specially shaped to fit furniture and hammocks as well as barbecues. Bosmere market a complete range including bench and patio set covers.
You've probably invested quite a lot of time and money in your garden this summer. Don't let it go to waste, as any ex-boy scout will tell you, 'Be Prepared'.
Visit our Autumn Shop for more gardening products and ideas.
Nathan James Dodd
At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.
Forest have been making high quality timber garden products for over half a century and at GLEE David Coton had the chance to see their brand new storage range that has recently been launched.
Everyone should be serious about encouraging wildlife, and whether you focus on pollinating bees, pest devouring birds or slug eating hedgehogs, David Hall has been looking at the products that Wildlife World design and manufacture to aid their conservation.
This week Robert Hall has been to the Glee Garden Trade show at the NEC in Birmingham and has reviewed the new Lotus Wheelie Bin Store; Metal Garages, Bicycle Store; Sheds and Workshops and more...